CASB Explained: Definition Benefits and Noteworthy Examples

A CASB gives administrators visibility into their cloud usage, including shadow IT. CASBs identify what applications are on the network, their level of risk, and how data is shared.

They then apply security policies to all devices and users — regardless of whether they are on-prem, remote, or BYOD. This includes things like granular threat protection, DLP, and encryption.

Definition

No two cloud environments are the same. That’s why CASB definition and examples offer flexibility. You can choose from cloud-based or on-premise deployment options and tailor your CASB to your specific needs, whether using popular cloud platforms like Google Drive or Microsoft Azure or having a hybrid cloud setup. As services previously offered on-premises continue to migrate to the cloud, it’s become more challenging for enterprises to maintain visibility and control of how data is accessed and used. CASBs are designed to address this need by empowering IT teams with an empowering view of the cloud-based applications that employees use. 

A CASB solution offers four essential functions: visibility, compliance, cloud security, and protection. Visibility allows organizations to see data flow through all cloud-based applications, whether sanctioned or unsanctioned. This information can then be compared to the organization’s policies, and anomalies can be detected.

Compliance enables IT to ensure data flow through all cloud-based apps aligns with enterprise data policies. This ensures the business can comply with all relevant regulatory frameworks, such as GDPR and HIPAA.

Protection defends data movement between cloud-based solutions and when it’s at rest. For example, a CASB solution can protect sensitive data by encrypting or tokenizing it, meaning only authorized users can access the information.

A CASB can also help businesses safeguard their internal networks by identifying threats in the cloud environment and stopping them before they spread. This includes malware, phishing, and other types of attacks. A strong CASB will identify the threats, block them from accessing infrastructure and data, and then alert administrators.

Benefits

While stemming threats from Shadow IT was a primary driver for the widespread adoption of CASB solutions, these cloud security tools offer many more benefits. For instance, a robust CASB solution will scan historical data movements through the cloud to detect unauthorized sharing or corruption of sensitive files. Moreover, it will encrypt and fingerprint files moving onto or off of the cloud. This reduces the risk of data loss, which can occur due to employee negligence or malicious cyberattacks.

A CASB also improves compliance by identifying and reporting activities that may violate compliance regulations. For example, a CASB will alert administrators when an employee shares a corporate file with a public link or when employees are uploading files to unmonitored repositories. This makes it easy for the IT team to take action and ensures that all corporate data is securely stored in the cloud.

The security benefits of a CASB include protection against malware and ransomware. It can detect and stop malware attempting to reach enterprise systems through the cloud, including infected USBs or other devices connected to an employee’s workstation. It can also identify suspicious login attempts and rogue devices that hackers may use to steal credentials or access information. In addition, a CASB can monitor the behavior of cloud applications, providing a view into the health of the enterprise’s use of these services.

Noteworthy Examples

CASB offers significant visibility into users and cloud applications and strong threat protection capabilities for a broad set of business-critical apps. It also supports hybrid environments, provides consistent policy applications on both on-premises and in the cloud, and provides advanced data loss prevention services for sensitive data traveling to and from cloud storage apps. It is highly scalable and easy to deploy, with out-of-band deployment delivering quicker and more comprehensive coverage than inline solutions.

The CASB’s unique user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) detects unusual activity, such as logging in to an account at an unusual time from an unfamiliar location or downloading suspicious amounts of data from cloud storage applications.

The solution is highly scalable and offers robust cloud application control, enabling secure work-from-anywhere policies that extend across software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service environments. It also includes robust data loss prevention functionality to monitor cloud storage applications for suspicious files and alerts security teams to potential data leaks through email or other channels. With a simple, self-service interface, it is easy to deploy and manage. However, some users have noted that the solution could benefit from better troubleshooting support and a stronger focus on data classification to help control false positives and negatives.

Conclusions

The CASB is one of the most significant security innovations of this era. It protects data against malicious actors by sitting at the edge of cloud infrastructure and inspecting all traffic entering or leaving it. The CASB can then identify the kind of data being used, how it’s shared, and where it’s coming from. Based on this, it can decide to block or allow access.

Unlike traditional firewalls, which use a sledgehammer approach to blocking applications, CASBs take a scalpel-like approach by only allowing or denying services on a risk-based basis. This enables organizations to use productivity-enhancing and time-saving cloud applications without compromising security.

To further protect corporate data, CASBs also provide encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-transit to ensure compliance and maintain privacy. They can also monitor user behavior patterns and flag any suspicious activity for further investigation by administrators.

Lastly, a CASB can mitigate threats by identifying malware risks and taking preventative measures to stop them from attacking the infrastructure or data. In addition, it can alert administrators when the malware is detected and notify them of any compromised accounts.

Khizer Tariq

Khizer Tariq

Khizer Tariq is a Copywriter, SEO executive, and tech enthusiast with more than 8 years experience. He is running popular blogs in the traveling, mobile & pc gaming, technology, banking & finance, education, and motivational speakers industries. Moreover, KT is teaching and making helpful content on different platforms like Facebook & youtube. You can follow Khizer Tariq on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.

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